What you need to know about Black Hat Marketing and the Drug Rehabilitation Industry.
Recent exposure to ads for fraudulent drug rehab facilities has sparked an important topic to discuss: how can a person tell if a site or advertisement for a drug rehabilitation facility is legitimate or not? Knowledge of the tricks of the trade in the search engine optimization (SEO) marketing industry can be the best way to avoid being misled to a business that has no intention of providing the care you need.
The umbrella phrase “black hat SEO” refers to a set of practices that google.com and bing.com explicitly state as being misleading. A site might be permanently banned from these search engines if it doesn’t fit the guidelines for appropriate search engine optimization. When a facility or a site is participating in black hat SEO marketing, their only intention is one thing- to “trick” people into viewing their site. This ultimate goal, to gain viewers, takes precedence over, say, guiding people to a facility that can help them.
There are several types of black hat marketing that you have most likely encountered in your time on the internet. Keyword stuffing is a common one; this is where you’ve typed something into the Google or Bing search bar, and some of the page results will pop up but not have the content for which you were looking. The site managers for these pages have likely written keywords somewhere on the page, but the words aren’t visible to you (i.e., white text on a white background, 0-point font, etc.). In these cases, you’ll probably see right away that this wasn’t what you were looking for and move onto the next search result. Another example is one that is more common in social media. For instance, a blog post is written, and then commenters link their sites in the comment section. The strategy for this one is to create links between sites so that many blogs will point to one blog. However, this approach is also easy to tell that a site is inauthentic as it is obvious when someone isn’t commenting for the right reasons and may not even have a linked blog with relevant content (i.e., a cooking blog with linked comments to clothing sites).
These are just a couple of the more obviously misleading examples, but when does black hat marketing for the drug rehabilitation industry become tricky? One disheartening strategy is buying links. During the research for this article, a black hat SEO forum came up that shows message chains of companies asking for leads to buy links. What happens in this scenario is a rehabilitation facility will pay for sites to set up links that direct people to their own site. In one instance, a treatment center was offering a $1,000 kickback per admittance if the leads brought that person to treatment. This tactic is not just a slightly shifty shortcut to get more viewers, it is dishonest and should not be tolerated in the rehab world.
How outpatient facilities market themselves as residential or in-patient, or: O.M.A.R.
Barnett Gilmer, CEO of Gulf Breeze Recovery, recently spoke about these deceptive practices after Google announced a recent decision to crack down on these advertising scams. Non 12 step Rehabilitation facilities like Gulf Breeze Recovery don’t use illusory schemes to advertise because their primary focus is on the health of an individual and on a recovery program that works, not on the number of people that can be admitted. Facilities like Gulf Breeze Recovery understand that the only true way to be a shining light for those looking for care is to show it through sound practices and transparent testimonials. It is an inside-out, transformative process that works in recovery. A successful program will inspire graduates to want to let everyone know how life changing their recovery has been.
Our Advice: Look for transparency when choosing the right drug treatment facility.
THRIVE: Total Health Recovery is a non-12 step recovery system that doesn’t treat symptoms, it brings individuals to a higher level of understanding which can sustain them throughout their life. These “ah hah” moments change the very type of thinking that feeds an addiction into thinking that no longer needs the temporary solution that addiction attempts to be. “Those who participate in our program are given an opportunity to discover the principles of how their minds work and to learn the true nature of thought.” Even individuals who suffer from chronic relapse will find that this treatment program works. And now, depending on your insurance, this program may be available at little to no out of pocket cost.
For information, an Admissions Counselor is ready to hear from you or your loved one 855-973-3551.
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